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J3172 Lewis Organic Marketing Rebrand Blog (2)

Does marketing need a rebrand?

I've built my entire career on ‘marketing’, I even spent a full year writing about it in 2008 as part of my uni dissertation so it was like a stake through the heart when I recently read that ‘marketing' is gradually losing its importance among B2B decision makers.

To be specific, GWI’s Work data set from the last two years, which features a sample of 64,149 business professionals, recently showed that 'better marketing' has slipped from second to fifth place on the list of priorities for driving growth in the upcoming year. Overtaken by priorities such as driving efficiency, cost savings, improved innovation, and customer satisfaction.

It’s fair to say that I momentarily saw my marketing career flash in front my eyes. But on closer inspection, I arrived back into the room with a new found respect for the industry that I work in. I realised marketing isn’t dead but perhaps ‘marketing’ needs to reconsider its own marketing strategy?

The marketing of ‘marketing’

The Jobs to be Done Theory teaches us that the job isn't marketing itself, but rather it serves a purpose in achieving wider business goals. In the theory, marketing is the tool for addressing core challenges confronted by B2B decision makers i.e. driving efficiencies, cost savings, improved innovation and customer satisfaction. And rather than it being an end unto itself, marketing is a channel to support achieving those broader business objectives.

Let’s look at the role marketing might play in each of these areas in a bit more detail.

Driving efficiencies

Consider efficiency, for instance. In an era where AI is putting jobs at risk, time is of the essence and resources are finite, efficient marketing strategies can streamline processes, eliminate waste, and optimise returns on investment. And in traditional marketing terms this might look like automated lead generation to targeted advertising, to enhance efficiency across the customer journey.

But looking towards the future, as businesses build their focus on Net Zero, this may look more like streamlined creative development processes, simplified branding and brand complexities and more carbon friendly websites all of which can drive efficiencies in terms of data usage, cut energy costs and appeal to new audiences.

Cost savings

Similarly, cost savings are perennial concerns for businesses on a journey to optimising expenditure without compromising quality or performance. And when it comes to marketing, the biggest question will always come down to ROI. In marketing terms, this usually means create less assets and place them in places that will get maximum audience reach.

By leveraging data-driven insights and analytics (at LEWIS we use GWI) marketers make informed decisions on budget allocation, ensuring that funds are directed towards strategies and channels that yield the greatest returns before the creative or media process begins. This targeted approach not only maximises cost efficiencies but also enhances the effectiveness of marketing efforts, resulting in greater impact and resonance with target audiences.

Improved Innovation

With the growth of AI, it’s no surprise that Innovation is a growing concern for businesses. Staying ahead of technological advances and client expectations in an opportunity for growth. In traditional marketing terms this might look like leveraging market research, trend analysis, and consumer insights, to gather emerging opportunities, anticipate shifting demands, and develop solutions that resonate with customers, driving sustainable growth and differentiation.

But business innovation is best driven by the people within a business, in fact ‘fostering innovation’ is classed as one of the top 5 roles of business leaders by the Institute of Leaders and Managers. Not everyone is qualified in this aspect of leadership though, and this is where effective marketing and communications can come in – stakeholders are the biggest innovators and change makers within a business so drawing on the skills of stakeholder marketing and workshops can gather opportunities for business innovation that may otherwise be ineffective.

Customer satisfaction

Ultimately, the test of any business lies in its ability to meet or exceed customer expectations. Marketing in itself cannot enhance the physical product or service to deliver value and satisfaction. But it can use well researched audience expectations to create targeted messaging and strategies which set expectations, foster stronger client relationships, drive loyalty, and elevate overall customer experiences.

It's not anything new that marketing professionals will align their efforts with business objectives to create innovative solutions and drive meaningful outcomes throughout the organisation. But the tools within the marketing toolbox have evolved and now optimising processes, reducing costs, fostering innovation, or enhancing customer satisfaction, requires strategic partnerships that sit at the heart of your business.

While traditional ‘marketing’ may have reduced in prominence, its essence can still play an integral role in addressing core challenges faced by B2B decision makers. Recognising marketing as a tool to achieve broader business objectives and establishing strategic partnerships to navigate today’s marketplace with confidence, agility, and resilience.

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About the author

Gill has over 15 years of agency experience spanning the utilities, financial, arts, charity, and museum sectors. In her work, Gill brings a unique blend of audience insight and business leadership knowledge to support LEWIS’ clients to make an impact both internally and externally.

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